|Price||$5.99 a month|
PotatoVPN is a freemium product launched by the Singaporean-based company Fastpotato PTE. LTD. in 2020. That means you can use it for free. Like other services, you get access to more servers and better speeds by upgrading to a premium account. Potato VPN is available for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Amazon Fire devices. The Google Play Store states that it has over 1 million downloads with an average rating of 4.4 stars and more than 18k reviews. We are typically hesitant of VPNs that use this type of model, though there are exceptions.
In our review of Potato VPN, we’ll put this one through the paces to see how it holds up to testing. Also, we’ll use the free and premium versions to see the differences between the two. When we downloaded the Windows app, we had to coax our desktop machine to run the software (it blocked it initially). Then, our antivirus software immediately flagged the uninstaller as a threat. We scanned the entire machine after we installed it, and everything was fine.
How Much is Potato VPN?
Potato VPN is free unless you get the premium version. They offer two plans, and a month of service is a whopping $11.99. The annual account costs $5.99 a month. With those options, you get access to 23 countries, up to five devices, streaming access, and unlimited bandwidth. There is also a 7-day free trial available in the mobile app, though you can use your subscription on other apps. As soon as the trial ends, it will automatically charge you $71.99 for a full year of the service. We did not see where they allow for any type of money-back guarantee, so if you go past the trial, you are paying the money for the year of service. One thing you will notice instantly is they only accept PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. We would like to see them take more than those options.
One of the big differences between the Android app and the Windows client is you can not use the VPN without signing in to an account. Of course, you can use Android without signing in. There are no features you can choose from. The only thing you can change is the protocol and the server. The protocols you can select from are UDP & TCP (both OpenVPN), TLS, FTP, STP, and TCP+. It also states you can paste a website link that you can visit without a VPN to improve the HTTP/HTTP+ connections. We would like to see Potato VPN add more protocols such as WireGuard and IKEv2.
This page also says you can select a domain to improve the connection with TLS+. Those last two options are ones we have have not experienced before in our reviews. Those options are also available on the Windows version. If you are signed in with the premium version, you get quite a few US server options, as well as 22 other countries. With the premium version, they offer you a “streaming option”. While it does not tell you exactly what the servers are, you can make an educated guess based on the ending on some of the names. The ones it includes are options like LOL Wild Rift, IN-Game-PUBG, US-Streaming-NF (US Netflix), US-Streaming-AM (US Amazon), GB-Streaming-BC (BBC iPlayer), US-Streaming-HU (Hulu), GB-Streaming-iT (iTV). While there are other servers, you should be able to figure out what they are, based on the ones we just mentioned.
Is Potato VPN Fast?
For this test, we used the paid version of their service. First, we tested our performance without a VPN to a speed test server in New York City. We got an unencrypted speed of 459 Mbps. When we connected to a VPN server in NYC, we chose the same speed test server. As you can see, we got a speed of 201 Mbps. That is in line with more well-known providers.
Other server locations we tested included:
- San Francisco– 79 Mbps with UDP, 460 Mbps without a VPN
- London – 86 Mbps with UDP, 461 Mbps without a VPN
- Amsterdam – 101 Mbps with UDP, 451 Mbps without a VPN
As you can see, PotatoVPN comes out fairly well on speeds for the premium version. When we tried the mobile version, we selected the fastest server and only got speeds of 94 Mbps compared to our unencrypted speed of approximately 460 Mbps. That shows that even the free version performs alright.
Does PotatoVPN Leak?
Of course, speeds are not important if you leak DNS information. If you are not aware, those types of issues can quickly cause problems. Since one of the big reasons to connect to a VPN is to protect your privacy, you’ll want to choose one that does not leak. In the images below, we tested for DNS leaks and geo-location when connected to PotatoVPN. We used a server in New York for our tests. You can see that the geo-location shows us in New York, and the test on the left does not show our real IP address or ISP info. It shows requests from Amazon and Google, but experts consider those DNS servers to be secure. You can decide if you are comfortable with that.
How Well Does PotatoVPN Unblock Streaming Services?
If you are using the free version, it does not do well. However, their premium account with “Streaming” option shows they have thought it out. They provide the various servers we mentioned earlier. We’ll test the Netflix servers, first. Here, you see that we tested two different Netflix servers. These are the US version on the left (showing Survivor) and the UK version (showing QI) on the right. Both of which worked well.
Next, we tested the BBC iPlayer server. Not all VPN services work for this one. However, they specifically set up servers for that purpose. This image shows it is playing a show named Call the Midwife. That means you’ll be able to watch shows on BBC iPlayer when using that server and the ITV Player when you connect to the right server.
Lastly, we tried the US version of Amazon Prime Video. Amazon is another service that will quickly detect if you are connecting to a VPN. This image shows it worked when we tried to play the US exclusive show, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. While we did not test all of the streaming servers PotatoVPN has to offer, we tested enough of them to say that it works well in unblocking some of the most well-known streaming services.
Unfortunately, Potato VPN is lacking in the customer service channel. Most of the well-known providers in the market offer several support options. PotatoVPN only offers an email address for support. They do not say how long it will take to answer back, once they get your message. That means if you have issues or questions, you can send them an email. However, you may be on your own if you need a timely answer. We would like to see them offer a social media presence, online chat, or even a FAQ section to help users.
Potato VPN has some issues, and the premium servers can be slower than you would hope. We would also like to see them offer more payment options than PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. Despite those issues, lack of advanced features, and high monthly cost, we were left with a good impression of the service. It did not leak our DNS information, performed better than we anticipated, and worked well for unblocking popular streaming services. That said, let’s take a look at the good points and some suggestions to make the service better.
We were impressed by:
- Headquartered in Singapore (outside 14 eyes countries)
- Premium version has streaming servers for services like Netflix
- DNS does not leak and geo-locatiion checked out for New York server
- Premium and free server speeds are reasonably fast
- Premium users can connect on up to five devices
- Increase the number of server locations
- Add more protocols like WireGuard and IKEv2
- Offer more payment options, including cryptocurrencies
- Add more customer service channels
- Decrease the price of the monthly plan
- Add features like VPN kill switch and split tunneling
Like we said, PotatoVPN performed well for us. The speeds did well, and we did not have any DNS leaks. There is plenty of room to grow for this service, though. If you want to protect your privacy and get access to several Netflix libraries, some British programming, and access to a provider like Hulu outside the US, this one may be a good solution for you. Otherwise, there are better options out there that offer more features.